Tuesday, January 31, 2012
This photograph brought to you by a super proud mama who lets her baby run around in his jammies half the day, even when we go to the bank, the vet, and Einstein's drive-thru all before nine am. Did I mention he spent the afternoon climbing from one chair to the other?
The climbing. Oh. The climbing!
It has to stop.
(I don't think it's stopping any time soon.)
And with that I'm off to snuggle my husband on the couch. And by "snuggle", I mean demand a back rub while he watches a movie. All's fair in love and war, right?
Monday, January 30, 2012
[Me and Max in late September.]
Today, I have spent my whole day reading The Paris Wife and staring.
Staring at the wall. Staring at my phone. Staring at the computer screen. Staring at nothing. Staring at Max as he runs back and forth and his little legs jiggle. Staring while trying not to fall asleep. Staring while trying not to stare. Staring. Staring. Staring.
I have been killing myself lately. Like, I am extremely tired, I keep forgetting to eat, and I constantly obsess about what else I can do to expand my business and the fact that I want another baby so bad I can hardly stand it. And, while I'm doing these things, I constantly put up my own road blocks. Like, I can't network with that person because they're too successful. Or I'm a bad photographer because, even though I only decided in December (last month!) that I was going to expand into weddings more consistently rather than just take them as they came, I have only booked seven weddings for this year (ps it's January). And as for baby road blocks? We don't have insurance. We have student loans to pay off. Andrew and I barely see each other as it is. I am tired. Andrew is tired. Max is in his terrible twos. We're already having our first two kids farther apart than we envisioned. We only have a two door car and yadda yadda yadda.
It's all very mature and grown up.
And so, a little after Max woke up from his nap this afternoon, I went in our bedroom to sort laundry and, a few minutes later, looked down at my feet to see Max pulling out one of our pillows to lay his little head down on. He looked at me and smiled and I dropped on the floor next to him and we started laughing at each other. I had a hair in front of my face and my little boy stood up, brushed the hair away from my eyes, laid back on his pillow and we laughed for the next three minutes, his little green pacifier shaking the whole time.
And I don't know everything. I don't know how things are going to turn out for us. I don't know when we'll have our second child. I don't even know when we'll have that "let's do this!" moment deciding we'll try for another child, but I know that Max will not be the only baby in our family. I don't know when my photography business will become the height of success I want it to be, but I know that I'm extremely determined and an extremely hard worker and that, even though I have a long ways to go, one day, the business will be as profitable as I want and need it to be. I know these things and I know that, without a lot of work, tears, late nights, (necessary) debt, and doubts, nothing would be worth the value it really is. Because when things comes easily, they're rarely appreciated to their full extent.
But most of all, I know that my little family will be okay, no matter what the future has coming for us. And, really, that's all I need to know.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
What I look like in the morning:
What Mr. C. looks like in the morning:
And, best of all, what Max looks like in nursery:
Hope y'all are having a happy Sunday!
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Being a mother rocks.
And, okay, maybe I'm a little biased, but being a mother to a little boy really rocks (even though I would love a little Claire or Isla or Norah or Ruby running around at my feet, too). Max is only eighteen months old and he already picks up anything with a straight edge (sticks, drumsticks, the cardboard part of the paper towels, my planner) and rams it into the thing closest to him. Which means that yes, my little son is a pirate. All we need is an eye patch.
BUT. Sword fights with inanimate objects aren't the only reason mothering a little boy rocks. Nor is listening to a little voice sing "The Wheels on The Bus". Nor is the way he dances whenever eighties rock comes on the radio. Nor is watching a little hand try to hold up one or two or three or four fingers while saying "ive". It's all of these reasons and a million others besides. But. The truth is that, one of the reasons being a mother rocks is that, when it's time for a bathroom break at the library (sans a stroller), this is what happens:
Yes. That is Maxwell walking around a stall with a doodle pad, singing to himself and laughing.
(I was laughing, too. Actually, I am still laughing.)
Also, this has been our biggest battle this week. Max gets busted for this at least twice a day:
Love him and his mischievous ways.
This one time, Mr. C. and I threw down on a new camera and, when we tested it, one of the dials wasn't working which was frustrating but then it worked like twice and so I took it to a photo shoot in the morning (Hi, Helen!) and it stopped working all over again. So I switched cameras, came home a few hours later, and tried again. And this time?! The dial worked! Not completely right but kinda right and then I saw that a weird icon was on that shouldn't have been on cause a flash wasn't attached and then thought "Hey! Maybe I should have checked the camera settings!". So then I did. I checked those camera settings so hard that I restored them to default.
And now the camera works like a gem.
And that is the story of the time I was ditzy and didn't realize that I should have cleared the camera settings for my brand spankin' new camera (I mean, rally, who would have thought?!), filled out a complaint form at B&H Photo requesting a return, and then fixed my electronic babe all on my lonesome.
I mean, that takes skill, right?
P.S. Laugh if you will, but I swear by battery packs.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
And one you've already seen...
So, to put it lightly, I know I'm not the most available, most crazy networker in the blogging world, but if y'all could share about this contest over blogging or Facebook or Twitter or any other way, I would be so, so grateful. The contest is open to any couple getting married in 2012, regardless of location, joke-telling capabilities, or height difference. I love to travel (especially for photographs!), so any friends y'all have across the country are definitely welcome to enter. It's all about getting the word out, y'know?
Like Lissa Clair Photos on Facebook here.
We Mostly Ate Good Food and Watched Movies on Andrew's Birthday. Well, After We Cleaned the Apartment.
For his birthday, I should have been an awesome wife and wrote a super gushy post outlining 50 reasons why I love Andrew (two for each of his twenty-five years!) but I didn't. Which means that, since his birthday has passed, I should be even more of an awesome wife and write a whole bunch of sap for y'all to enjoy, complete with twenty-five photographs of his twenty-fifth birthday but my fingers are too tired to do that.
Instead! Here's a short list of nicknames I've bestowed on Andrew in our three years together.
Andrew C. (such a nickname, right?)
And, to be fair, here's some he's given me:
Little Rain Cloud
And, last but not least, one Andrew's given himself:
And the rest of the thirty nicknames we have for each other have evaded me although, truthfully, Andrew calls me "Elisabeth" most of the time and I mainly call him "Andrew". Strange, right? Also, in all fairness, we call each other "Babe" a lot which is totally barf worthy but, I mean, whatev. Welcome to our lives.
Oh! And here are the photographs:
Oy. I'm tired. Hope you're having a happy Thursday!
P.S. Can we talk about how the vacuum in the last photograph has changed my life? Please? I love it!
Thanks for the hat!
I've only had it for three days and I take it with me everywhere I go: the grocery store, the sidewalk, the library, the car, my bedroom, the living room, the kitchen (oh the kitchen!), the dog groomer's, and, best of all, the balcony.
I growl a lot more nowadays.
Maxwell David Chandler
Posted by Lissa Chandler at 12:59 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
So this is just a repost from my photo blog.
BUT. At least it's a good repost, right?
We are giving away a full day of wedding photography, engagements included!
Here are the details!
Free Wedding Package!
Up to 8 hours of wedding day coverage
Online proofing gallery for six months
Disc of all edited wedding day images
Custom DVD case
Bride and Groom must not have signed a contract with ANY photographer to cover their wedding day.
Bride or Groom must be a fan of Lissa Clair Photos on Facebook.
Bride and Groom must have a wedding date set. Contest is subject to availability.
Any Bride and Groom may apply, though if the winner lives outside of Northwest Arkansas or Kansas City, travel fees will be applied.
What We Need From You
Please send us an email including the following items:
Your wedding date
A non-professional photograph of the Bride and Groom together
A few sentences describing how you met
A few sentences describing what makes you unique
Your email address
Your phone number
How it Works
On February 7th, each couples' photographs will be uploaded to the Facebook Fan Page for Lissa Clair Photos. Starting upon upload, each participant will be able to share their photograph with their friends and families for voting! To vote, each voter must Like Lissa Clair Photos and then Like the photograph of the couple they are rooting for! News Feeds move fast, so be sure to share your photographs through Facebook (tag yourself!), through tweeting, and through blogs multiple times during the week of voting! On February 12th, the four participants with the most Likes will be chosen as finalists! Voting will continue for two more days and, at 5pm on Valentine's Day, whoever has received the most Likes will be the winner!
The Best Part
ALL participants will receive $100 off any wedding package that they book with Lissa Clair Photos, regardless of how many Likes their photograph receives.
Submissions must be received by 10 pm on February 6th!
I can't wait to hear from you!
lissa [at] lissaclairphotos [dot] com
After a seriously intense day, I ended up buying this baby.
Like most parents, the plan has always been for Mr. C. to work full time so that we could have nice things like insurance and two cars. But! But. Mr. C. is still in grad school. As the wife of a grad student, I sometimes feel like wives of medical students and law students look down at me and think "You think you have it hard?" but, truthfully, having your husband in any kind of further education (even undergrad!) is a serious time sucker. Andrew's a really good student and he's really good at balancing and he's a really, really, really hard worker. But! He's also a grad student, meaning no one wants to hire him full time.
And I get that. I really do get that.
Anyway, because of this (at least since we've moved here), we have always had a Plan B. The Plan B that meant training Mr. C. a little more in photography (my soul, that man has an eye), loading him up as an unemployed second shooter (nice that husbands can tag along for free, right?), and expanding my photo business in every direction. And, as of now, that is what we're doing. We are expanding in every way possible and it's a lot scary and a little frustrating and really tiring, but we know it's what we're supposed to do. And we are doing it.
P.S. This little sucker will also be making a trip to our camera bags in the next week.
You do what you gotta do, right?
P.P.S. I'll probably dedicate a post to it in the next few days, but right now I'm running a really simple contest for free wedding photography. Anyone can apply (though travel fees exist outside of Northwest Arkansas and Kansas City) and we're excited about it!
Monday, January 23, 2012
For those of y'all who are new around here, the first time Andrew spoke to me was on his twenty-second birthday. Well, I mean, he'd said to me before that ostriches didn't stick their heads in the ground, but that was only a week before his birthday and then on his birthday? He sidled up to me while I was leaning against a table, blushed really hard, started talking, and then we just clicked. Three years, two apartments, one baby, and a lot of craziness later, we still click.
Love you, 25 year old Lover.
P.S. The song is by Boston. Mr. C. picked it.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Yesterday, at my second bridal fair in six days, a bride asked me how I would describe my photography in one word.
I'd been talking to brides for five and a half hours straight, my brain was kinda mushy, and instead of answering intelligently, I let out a slur of words containing "natural" and "light" and things like that. Things that are true, but not exactly the heart of the matter. Then she asked me about Photoshop and I basically told her that I edit everything to look the best it can be without making it look fake because, truthfully, I don't like fake stuff. After which, she handed me back my cute flyer (flier?) and card, said "You're not a good match for us," and walked away.
And that's okay!
I don't need to be a good match for everyone out there cause being a good match for everyone would mean that I would be a hot mess with a severe personality disorder which I would like to avoid in this lifetime... even when motherhood and small business ownership like to pull me five hundred different directions.
But! I am so, so glad that that bride walked by my booth and asked me that question. After she left, I had a lull for a minute or two and I thought. If I could describe my photographs in one word how would I describe them? There are so many words! There are so many photographs! No one word could describe each photograph displayed in my portfolio. It's not possible. They vary. Every photo shoot is different, every subject (and client!) is different, and every photo shoot has a different feeling. Yes! I definitely have a style I try to improve every day, but, like I just said, no one word could be applied to each of my photographs individually.
But. But! There is a word that describes my whole body of work. "Loving" is a close runner up but the word that takes the cake? The word I should have said to the inquisitive bride? I should have said this word, the word I have been using all along but forget about sometimes.
I should have said, "Happy."
My photographs are happy. Sometimes my photographs are cheesy. My photographs are all kinds of things and are going to be so many more things but, in general, they're just happy. And maybe that could be confused by other photographs as shallow, vapid, or annoying, but I'm okay with that. Give me a happy photograph of Maxwell any day over a photograph of him staring into the camera with intense eyes and a firm set lip. Give me happiness in a four by six or eight by ten, gosh dangit! I like happy things and, as I've been saying for well over a year, I like taking happy photographs for happy people.
And that, my friends, is my photography philosophy.
PS. I am officially addicted to blazers. Who knew they were so awesome, right?
Friday, January 20, 2012
Compared to the last few weeks, it's been a little quiet. BUT...
Also, next week I will be releasing details for a competition for free wedding photography, so definitely stay tuned!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
This is Max almost exactly a year ago:
This is Max now:
This is me and Max almost exactly a year ago:
This is me and Max now:
If you were to ask me the main thing I've learned since becoming a mother, I'd say that I've learned that time goes faster than I ever could have imagined before my blonde haired squirt broke my water three weeks early and then refused to come out on his own. I'd tell you that I've learned that there's nothing as sweet as a newborn nursing and I'd tell you that there's nothing as frustrating as a newborn screaming. I'd tell you that I've learned that there's nothing like having your eighteen month old run up to you and say "uv-oo" (translation: love you) while he's playing and I'd also tell you that I've learned that, somehow, you come to tune "mom" and sweet "uv-oos" out as easily as you learned to tune out your parents in high school. I'd tell you that, months and months after birth, sometimes all you can do is gape at your baby and think "where did you come from?!" even though you can't believe they were never there before their birth. I'd tell you that there is nothing funnier than watching a chubby baby dance and that nothing lifts your spirit more than hearing your baby squeal without embarrassment as you tickle his soft, often smelly, skin when he wakes up in the morning. I'd tell you that being a mom often means carrying around a lot of guilt because there is always something else you could be doing and that some days are really, really hard. The kind of hard that make you want to curl up in your bed, cover your head with your favorite blanket, and not come out for two weeks, even though you can't spare two minutes to do so.
And I'd tell you that, today, being a mother meant taking my son to a photo shoot and, later, it meant cleaning his projectile vomit off the floor of a nice restaurant and, even later, it meant having him rest his arm on my leg as he danced while I wrote a blog post and took quick breaks to kiss his little cheeks. And I'd tell you that none of those examples clearly convey what motherhood means or what I've learned the past eighteen months.
But, mostly, I'd tell you that being a parent is one big whopper of a lesson and that I know less about parenting now than I did when Max was first born and, when Max was first born, I knew less than I did when I was pregnant with him.
I guess that's kind of the circle, though.
To me, motherhood and parenting is inexplainable. Just like love is inexplainable. Everyone's experience is different. Everyone handles thing differently and, while there are some things I definitely need to improve on (read: vacuuming, laundrying, and scheduling), I really like how things are going right now.
PS. Pretty sure I have toddler vomit in my hair.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I'm not one to talk much religion or politics on here (though you should know that my ridiculously liberal husband talks politics all.the.time, so much so that when I saw that Jon Huntsman had dropped out of the presidential race right after it happened, I ran into our bedroom, singing "I know something before you do! I know something before you do!" and Mr. C. looked at me sadly and said, "Jon Huntsman? Yeah. I've already read five articles about it."), but, you guys, SOPA and PIPA are scary and that's from a copyright owner and small business owner who has had her content stolen on more than one occasion.
So go here. Sign a petition. And be awesome.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Sometimes, when Andrew is at work we do this:
Today, we did it sometime after breakfast and after I loaded the dishwasher and started tossing the laundry I washed four days ago. Then Maxwell watched part of Megamind (seriously, he doesn't move when that show is on), climbed into my lap for some snuggles, and promptly went to take his long nap of the day. And me? I sat in the same spot and worked even though the apartment really needs to be cleaned.
Maybe I should just toss the laundry again?
Monday, January 16, 2012
It all started when we realized our little red civic wasn't going to hold two seven foot tall doors in its' back seat or trunk or in any combination of its backseat and trunk. Then things got a little more serious when we realized our little red, two door civic filled with books, leftover 64 ounce cups, a black car seat, and toddler distractions (read: toys, sippy cups, pretzels, popcorn, and blankets) wasn't going to hold a bookcase, two chairs, and two seven foot tall doors.
So! We decided to rent a Budget van.
You know the kind- the cargo van kind with windows in the front but a whole lot of white in the back. We were going to rent one of those. So rent one we did! We got that sucker online, loaded up a few days later, and drove the twenty miles it took to get to the lot it was housed in. Andrew walked inside, I called my mom from the parking lot, and Maxwell snoozed. Andrew came outside mumbling and grumbling, I didn't quite understand the truck rental lingo he was spewing, said "Meet you at Home Depot?" and drove five miles down the road.
Ten minutes later, I sat in the parking lot and started laughing when I saw my husband driving down the road in a sixteen foot Budget moving truck. The same size we took from Provo, Utah to Fayetteville, Arkansas seven months ago. The same size that housed all of our material possessions and the same size that was now going to house three small features of furniture and two bifold doors. This was funny, right? Then Andrew got out of the truck, slammed the door, and started saying words I hope his mother never heard him say before. We walked in the store, I said, "Why don't you just take it back and call someone else?" Andrew said "I'm taking it back!" and this picture was taken during the middle of it:
And that is the tale of how we rented a Budget van from the only place in a thirty mile radius that advertised a van only to get there and find out that they didn't have a van, pickup truck, ten foot truck, or twelve foot truck (does Budget even have ten foot trucks?), drove it five miles down the road, turned back around, dropped it off at the lot and got charged a whoppin' one hundred dollars and forty-seven cents.
Moral of the story: Budget's not so good for your budget.
(We used a UHaul instead.)